And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.Exodus 14:21
Most believers are familiar with the Biblical account which records God’s parting of the Red Sea, even though Hollywood and many children’s books may not get everything quite accurate. What a wonderful example of the power of God! No wonder the world has a hard time believing that it really happened!
A less familiar story is found at the end of their wanderings, preceding their entrance into the Promised Land:
And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,) That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap…Joshua 3:15,16
Picture it: The Israelites have completed their forty-year wilderness wandering and are now standing at the Jordan River’s edge. Jericho has been scouted out, and they are ready to enter into the Promised Land! Again, a body of waters stands in their way until it too parts, but there is a slight difference: Certainly, it was the power of God that parted the waters and created a dry base for nearly three million people to pass over; however, the water never moved until the priests’ feet dipped into the water.
The following passage tells us a little more about this crossing:
The river was thus dried up as far as the eye could reach. This was a stupendous miracle; Jordan takes its name, “the Descender,” from the force of its current, which, after passing the Sea of Galilee, becomes greatly increased as it plunges through twenty-seven “horrible rapids and cascades,” besides a great many lesser through a fall of a thousand feet, averaging from four to five miles an hour [LYNCH]. When swollen “in time of harvest,” it flows with a vastly accelerated current. (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown) Commentary
We don’t know exactly where this crossing took place, but we see that the Jordan was “overflowing its banks.” This generation of wanderers had only heard about the Red Sea parting, now it is their turn! Do you see the big difference in the two partings? Wet feet! The people just stood and watched in awe as the Red Sea parted before them, but this time, twelve men got to really test the waters! These twelve priests were the leaders of their tribes. They were leading their families, and they were taking a step of faith.
That’s the difference between entering the wilderness and entering the Promised Land: a step of faith. How often we stay in the wilderness because we are afraid to take that step of faith! We are God’s children; we have trusted Him for our salvation; we believe in Him and what He’s done, but we can’t trust Him for tomorrow’s unknown!
Here’s another lesson for me through this trying time. Just to recap if you haven’t been following my husband’s accident: Wednesday, he fell twelve feet to concrete when his ladder slid, breaking his hip and crushing his heel. Thursday, surgery. Monday, we’re told three things: He was going to the in-hospital rehab (yippy! No transportation!); He was going home (well, transportation but he’d be home); He would just stay in the Joint Center (I’ll pick door number three!) We were really fine with all three, but door number two was the final answer. We prayed that we would know what was best, and that we wouldn’t have to make the decision (we haven’t worked much with hospitals!). By eight-thirty on Tuesday morning, we had our answer; however, we were also told that we would have to be at the doctor’s office the following morning at eight-fifteen!
I panicked. My mind raced back to those trips home from the hospital following my three C-sections–not pleasant! The thought of reversing the process and taking him out again the next day nearly pushed me over the edge. Then I remembered this blog (that I’ve been trying to finish for five days!) Why don’t you try trusting God, Wanda! Take a step of faith! Maybe He knows what is best! Ouch! Guess what–He did, and does and always will, if only we would step into the water!!! Why is it so hard to trust Him? Because all we see is that raging river swirling out of control just inches from where we are standing! There is no way He can _________ ( you fill in the blank). He may not solve your problems the way you would like Him to do it, but if you are willing to follow Him, He will ALWAYS do what is best!
Come, every soul by sin oppressed;
There’s mercy with the Lord,
And He will surely give you rest
By trusting in His Word.
Only trust Him, only trust Him,
Only trust Him now;
He will save you, He will save you,
He will save you now.
For Jesus shed His precious blood
Rich blessings to bestow;
Plunge now into the crimson flood
That washes white as snow.
John H Stockton
Why is it that we can trust Him for the next life, but not for this one?